Starting a Sustainable Fitness Journey
It’s the New Year and it’s time to cue all of the gimmicky New Years fitness ads- “new year, new you”, “get fit in thirty days”, “Lose 20 pounds in 20 days” or “10 secrets to getting a sick summer bod” yada yada yada. You get it.
A majority of the ads we’ll see will often promise to solve your health problems through instant gratification and ill-advised quick fixes. While some of these services will deliver on their promise (rarely and temporarily), it is usually through unsustainable methods that lead you back to square one, feeling defeated.
When we began R3VIVE Fitness, we sought various sources for marketing guidance. One line that always stuck out read “Sell the vacation. Not the flight.” After some careful thought, consideration and checking on my moral compass, I first concurred that the destination is indeed the most rewarding part of the journey. However, this message is highly misleading as it ignores everything that goes into the start of the journey which is packing your bags and making sure you have everything you need when you’ve reached your destination. Not to mention the journey often can come with it’s own obstacles, for example; flight delays, crying babies, long TSA line etc. When facing these obstacles, will you give up and head home or will you have the will and self inspiration to stay the course?
Embarking on a fitness journey comes with it’s own set of challenges. Keeping your eye on the prize is easier when we change our mindset and expectations about health and fitness: that big and sustainable outcomes derive from small and incremental changes, eventually turning into long term habits (rather than a dramatic plunge into a 6 week challenge).
Today, we’re going to arm you with some quick and actionable steps you can take RIGHT NOW to start your own journey, keep you at your destination for as long as you desire AND open up a whole new world of living large.
Set a goal
Identify where you are in fitness and where you want to go. What are your resources? What are some obstacles. Do your goals align with your values and priorities? Oftentimes, mistakes occur in the initial phase. Whether it’s setting unrealistic goals or simply goals that don’t align with our values and priorities, the most common mistake occurs here.
Start with small and achievable goals. Carve out time in your schedule, set a timeline and measure where you are at the start and set checkpoints to measure your progress.
When setting goals, it’s important to have some form of accountability. Some lucky folks are excellent at holding themselves accountable and while this is great, it doesn’t make up a large percentage of the population.
Accountability can be attained through a coach, recruiting a workout buddy OR simply by making your goal public. There are many benefits to each of these forms of accountability and it’s important to assess which fits you best in this phase of your life.
Inconsistent practices lead to inconsistent results. In terms of movement and food, quality over quantity is always the motto. The more consistent, the better. It’s ok to have a day off from training, but if you want to build great habits, find non-exercise activities to do on those days. Try a 30-45min walk with your pup, doing chores or yard work, playing with your kids or even grocery shopping! Movement of this kind is important for blood-flow, moving waste, and general recovery. Whatever you choose, just make sure you move every. single. day. Bonus points if you can get some vitamin D (aka sunshine).
Lifestyle and Behavior
You spend 1hr of your day exercising. What are you doing with the other 23 hours? When working with clients, we like to follow the Basic Lifestyle Guidelines (BLGs) to help develop behaviors that will increase energy and broadly enhance their lives. Here are three of our go-to BLG’s for anyone starting fitness. If you’re already doing any of these, you’re ahead of the game. Kudos!
- Hydration – Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of plain water.
- Drink more on training days – 150lbs/2 = 75lbs = 75oz of H20
- Sleep – Get at least 7-9hrs of sleep every night if you’re an adult. Having trouble sleeping? Improve your sleep by decreasing stress, limiting late night eating / alcohol consumption, and avoiding screens ~1 hour before bedtime.
- Food Hygiene and Quality – Add one whole food to every meal. Once you get into a rhythm, add a second. Before you know it, you will be eating meals with ingredients of the highest order. Second – Chew your food. Yes, just like your parents have told you from the beginning of time, chew it good. At least 30 times before swallowing. Digestion starts at the sight and smell of food, but the nutrient absorption can be largely enhanced by chewing high quality foods really well.
Starting a sustainable fitness journey comes with its challenges, but if there’s anything we want you to take away from this article, whatever you do, start small and be consistent. Also, HAVE FUN!
To learn more about getting started, read our article on getting started at R3VIVE.
If you need help setting smart goals, are thinking about working with a coach, or have any general questions, please reach out to us! (firstname.lastname@example.org)